Just about 2 years after his miraculous return to the ring, after he was forced to step away in 2015 due to severe neck injuries, Daniel Bryan is eyeing the finish line. The 6x Heavyweight Champion (4x WWE Champion, World Heavyweight Champion, ROH World Champion) is now 38 and a parent. Bryan, despite years away from the ring has aged seamlessly, has he’s put out some of the best work of his career the last two years with guys like AJ Styles, Brock Lesnar, Kevin Owens and The Miz.
To say Daniel Bryan hasn’t been looking out for the future of the industry would be an incorrect statement. Once the most beloved man in pro wrestling, Daniel Bryan then had the biggest comeback story in wrestling history and was still able to get the crowd to boo him, showing off his wide range very few possess. During this run, he put over Mustafa Ali on his first night on SmackDown, Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship and teamed with Erick Rowan, of all people, to have a killer tag team run. Since returning to the good side, he’s put over the Fiend Bray Wyatt on his unprecedented tear and he’s currently putting over former Cruiserweight Champion Drew Gulak in a major way.
On the latest episode of The Bellas Podcast, an audio show hosted by his wife Brie and in-law Nikki, the latest inductees into the WWE Hall of Fame, Bryan brought up the topic of full-time competition. “We’ve [Bryan and Brie Bella] been talking about what we do from there, but to me, in my mind, it’s almost… I think I’m just done being a full-time wrestler. You know what I mean And that’s the thing…I love being a dad. I will always love wrestling. And I will always want to do wrestling, but when I say ‘always want to do wrestling’ that means maybe once a month, or once every couple of months.”
The WWE for its biggest draws as they wind down will generally give them a more lenient schedule, something that both the current WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and Universal Champion Bill Goldberg have. Edge has it, AEWs Chris Jericho wrestled under the schedule for years. Daniel Bryan has certainly etched his name into the top echelon of sports entertainers. In WWE alone, he’s a 5x World Champion, former Intercontinental Champion, United States Champion, 2x Tag Team Champion and a former Mr. Money in the Bank. Bryan is undoubtedly one of this generation’s top superstars and one held dearly to most fans.
Bryan’s contract will expire after WrestleMania and while it’s almost a foregone conclusion he’ll re-sign, the terms of what he inks remains to be seen but Pro Sports Extra will keep you as up to date on his status as possible.
Personally, I thought this was going to be his schedule after his return, but alas I was wrong and I’m very glad that I was. Bryan’s earned whatever schedule he receives.
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